By Andy Sambidge
Qatar Holding said to be behind plans to build four luxury hotels on Costa Smeralda
Qatar Holding has unveiled plans for a one billion euro ($1.35bn) investment in Sardinia's tourism sector, it has been reported.
The company will build four luxury hotels on Sardinia's Costa Smeralda, more than doubling tourism capacity to 900 beds, news service ASNAmed said.
It added that the plan was announced by Alberto Ragnedda, amyor of Sardinian town Arzachena.
The plan includes a 150-room Harrods Hotel, a 200-room family hotel, both for the luxury market.
ANSAmed said the project also includes an aquatic amusement park inside the Liscia Ruja reserve, a low-impact electric Go-Kart route within a former landfill at Abbiadori, expanding roads and water and sewer systems.
Ragnedda was quoted as saying: "It is an important investment that bets on culture and on local education. It will create opportunities not only for Sardinians, but will attract students from around the world."
He added: "The landscape regulations won't allow us to build the project 100 percent, but we believe there are alternatives procedures involving talks at the municipal, regional, and ministry levels."
Last year, Qatar Holding signed an agreement to acquire Smeralda Holding, owner of luxury hotel resorts on Costa Smeralda in Sardinia, from Colony Capital, the US-based real estate investment firm.
Under the terms of the agreement, Qatar Holding acquired a portfolio consisting of four luxury hotels with a total of 372 rooms, the Porto Cervo Marina, the Porto Cervo Shipyard, the Pevero Golf Club, a 51 percent interest in 2,290 hectares of adjacent undeveloped land and various other real estate assets in Costa Smeralda.
Sama Dubai did something similar on some of Oman's most beautiful beaches and ruined everything in the interests of lifestyle and profit. No doubt the Qatar venture into Sardinia has been subject to proper environmental impact assessments?
Indeed, Oman's Yiti beach has been truly ruined by Sama Dubai. A year ago, Sama Dubai's office in Muscat was demolished. Don't bite more than you can swallow.
An aquatic amusement park at the noble Costa Smeralda??? :-)) It would be better to spice up the existing hotels instead building additional ones.
Here in Sardinia the debate is hard. The investment has its own dark side but could bring some development to a people, Sardinians, who have not capitals nor business' sense of risk for grow independently. In any case, NO to the acquapark and YES to quality.